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The Marlborough Science Academy

Life and Living Skills

This innovative curriculum stream is intended to provide learners with a gateway into discovering a love of learning and developing a sense of their own ability to become independent and effective learners, together with providing them with a sense of achievement.

As a school we recognise the importance of a personalised learning experience and the essential role the school plays in providing stability, consistency and support for these young people. We also have high expectations and aspirations for all our students – with the Neutron Pathway being no different. Standards and expectations are set high throughout the programme and provide an aspirational learning pathway for young people to become active and productive citizens in the modern United Kingdom, successfully completing studies at Key Stage 4 and making positive decisions about progression routes post-16.

The curriculum is centred around, but not limited to, the OCR Life and Living Skills Qualification (Entry Level). This qualification is unitised in its structure, allowing students to access the learning and achieve success in an on ongoing schedule of assessment. The qualification also covers a broad range of the most important skills that young people will need to become fully active and productive members of society and secure a positive economic future for themselves. These include: Communication (literacy); Numeracy; ICT; Personal Skills; Office Practice and Home Management.

Student engagement is at the heart of the curriculum implementation with a blend of active, beyond-the-classroom learning and traditional pedagogical approaches. Students experience opportunities to bring learning to life and witness first-hand the benefits of discovery-based learning and intellectual enquiry.

Assessment is both formative and summative. Formative assessment happens in all learning sessions and comprises questioning, discussion and an encouragement of learners to become reflective in terms of self-assessing skills and knowledge gained and also their own approach to learning. Summative assessment follows the schedule outlined by the relevant awarding bodies. Student progress is reported to parents and Senior Leaders through the whole-school framework of reporting.

Below are examples of some the learning activities undertaken by the students:

  • Horticulture:
    • Refreshing planters for display in the Aristotle Quad.
    • Developing and renovating an area of the school grounds including planning and planting areas.
  • Learning about Health & Safety in the workplace:
    • Safety signs.
    • Hazards.
    • What to do in an emergency.
  • Setting up a refreshments stall for the school production
    • Selecting items to purchase
    • Spreadsheets, budgeting and pricing
    • Advertising and promotion materials
    • Serving, taking payment and giving change
  • Planning a day trip to London
    • Planning travel routes
    • Researching attractions and their entry costs
    • Finding suitable places to eat!
What the Students say... 

Below is a selection of responses from students when asked about the Life and Living Skills course:


“What have you enjoyed doing on the course?”

“I enjoyed our trip to the garden centre to buy our seeds – and have a hot chocolate!”

“I have enjoyed planning our London day trip.”

“Making a parachute for our egg!”

“Planting things and being outside has been really good.”


“What have you learnt on the course?”

“How to plan a trip to London; how to send a letter; how to work together with other people in the class…”


“Health and safety signs and how to make a spreadsheet on a computer.”

“…how to plant and about Health and Safety – how we had to be careful with the tools…”


“How is the course different to other lessons?”

“… we learn about new things and we get to work in groups…”

“… sometimes we are outside… we do different activities…”

“…every lesson in Life and Living is different and you’re socialising and communicating…”

“A very unique lesson…”